Great Western Contempt

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pF

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On Friday, "First" staff boarded the 14:17 from Bourne End to Maidenhead and coldly told the passengers that the "service" had been cancelled.

The indicators showed that the next train, the 15:17 was "on time". However, First just cancelled this too.

After waiting for almost two hours I caught the 16:16.

At Paddington though, rather than letting passengers proceed smoothly after their disrupted journey, surly GWR staff demanded that each delayed passenger crawl through Cubic's arthritic ticket barriers one at a time.

Couldn't GWR have left these barriers open under these circumstances?

GWR don't provide the service its customers pay for yet still expect them to pay anyway.
 
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The Planner

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You travelled on the 16.16 though so why shouldnt you pay? I take it you have put in a delay repay?
 

Antman

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You travelled on the 16.16 though so why shouldnt you pay? I take it you have put in a delay repay?

I don't think he was suggesting that he shouldn't pay just that GWR may have used a molecule of common sense/customer service.
 

Via Bank

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Presumably the barriers would be rejecting off-peak tickets after 1600, meaning some people chucked off the 1417 would then be denied travel.

/prepares popcorn
 

deltic

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How do you warmly tell pasengers their service is cancelled?
 

Techniquest

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Warmly doing it would be getting the passengers on your side. You could tell them in a more comfortable way like "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to have to tell you this train has been cancelled. I know it's a major inconvenience, it is for us too as we want to go too, but for *reason XYZ* we've had no choice. We've got some Delay Repay forms here, if you need any help filling them in just ask. We'll get you to your destination as soon as we can, any updates we get we'll pass on as soon as we can. Sorry again and please bear with us"

That's better than nothing!
 

MarlowDonkey

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Presumably the barriers would be rejecting off-peak tickets after 1600, meaning some people chucked off the 1417 would then be denied travel.

On the local services to and from Paddington, "peak" is only in the morning.
 

leomartin125

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Why was the Bourne End shuttle train cancelled anyway? It's only ever a 2 car, maybe 3 or 4 165/166... and the same one starts in the morning that does the route all day, so I have no understanding of why this train should be cancelled other than a train issue with the 165/166 allocated to the line for the day...
 

David Goddard

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If the 14.17 from Bourne End was cancelled, and they then knew that the 15.17 would be too, then passengers could have been directed to the 15.05 bus from opposite the station entrance, due into Maidenhead at about the same time as the 15.17 train.
But then again that would involve one bus company trying to work with anther bus company.
 

Flamingo

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On Friday, "First" staff boarded the 14:17 from Bourne End to Maidenhead and coldly told the passengers that the "service" had been cancelled.

The indicators showed that the next train, the 15:17 was "on time". However, First just cancelled this too.

After waiting for almost two hours I caught the 16:16.

At Paddington though, rather than letting passengers proceed smoothly after their disrupted journey, surly GWR staff demanded that each delayed passenger crawl through Cubic's arthritic ticket barriers one at a time.

Couldn't GWR have left these barriers open under these circumstances?

GWR don't provide the service its customers pay for yet still expect them to pay anyway.

I don't know if you are aware, but there has been a little bit of disruption in the Paddington to Reading services. The advice is don't travel or use alternative means if possible.

Sorry for the inconvenience, also sorry you were made pay for your journey.
 

pdeaves

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Realtime trains suggests that both the 1417 and 1517 ran today (Saturday 18). I can find no evidence of (part-)cancellations on the Marlow branch today.

Did you mean another day?
 

JN114

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Realtime trains suggests that both the 1417 and 1517 ran today (Saturday 18). I can find no evidence of (part-)cancellations on the Marlow branch today.

Did you mean another day?

OP said Friday.

The 1417 had a unit fault that didn't allow the train to continue in passenger service.
An attempt was made to find a replacement in time for the next round trip, but with the disruption due to Paddington derailment this wasn't possible.
A replacement was found in time for the 1538 off Maidenhead, which becomes the 1617 off Bourne End
 
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swt_passenger

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Realtime trains suggests that both the 1417 and 1517 ran today (Saturday 18). I can find no evidence of (part-)cancellations on the Marlow branch today.

Did you mean another day?

The first post does start with "on Friday"...
 

Sprinter153

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Warmly doing it would be getting the passengers on your side. You could tell them in a more comfortable way like "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to have to tell you this train has been cancelled. I know it's a major inconvenience, it is for us too as we want to go too, but for *reason XYZ* we've had no choice. We've got some Delay Repay forms here, if you need any help filling them in just ask. We'll get you to your destination as soon as we can, any updates we get we'll pass on as soon as we can. Sorry again and please bear with us"

I do this. I walked up a delayed train the other day with a veritable forest of delay compensation forms and offered much connection advice and I still may as well have worn a T shirt saying "I shoot fluffy bunnies". One man shook his fist as I walked past. There's no way to deliver it nicely, I'm afraid!
 

Techniquest

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I do this. I walked up a delayed train the other day with a veritable forest of delay compensation forms and offered much connection advice and I still may as well have worn a T shirt saying "I shoot fluffy bunnies". One man shook his fist as I walked past. There's no way to deliver it nicely, I'm afraid!

Not true, you can deliver the message nicely, but if the customer/passenger isn't happy for whatever reason, there is often nothing you can do to change that and they won't receive it nicely. I'm sure everyone that works in retail could tell you the same, and give you plenty of stories!

Unfortunately in your position, you will have been the face of your TOC, so you'll have been receiving all of the flaming. It's just the way it is, and ultimately it's then down to you to turn the frown upside down. Not the easiest thing to do, but it's all part and parcel of delivering customer service on the front lines, and you have to let it go 'whoosh' over your head and keep delivering good customer service to the next one.
 

74A

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Presumably the barriers would be rejecting off-peak tickets after 1600, meaning some people chucked off the 1417 would then be denied travel.

/prepares popcorn

Why would it ? The ticket would be valid at this time
 

3141

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On Friday, "First" staff boarded the 14:17 from Bourne End to Maidenhead and coldly told the passengers that the "service" had been cancelled.

The indicators showed that the next train, the 15:17 was "on time". However, First just cancelled this too.

After waiting for almost two hours I caught the 16:16.

At Paddington though, rather than letting passengers proceed smoothly after their disrupted journey, surly GWR staff demanded that each delayed passenger crawl through Cubic's arthritic ticket barriers one at a time.

Couldn't GWR have left these barriers open under these circumstances?

I'd be pretty annoyed too if I'd been delayed that long. But "coldly", "surly" and "arthritic" are emotive and exaggerating terms which don't enhance sympathy for the problems you experienced.

First and GWR aren't evil entities seeking to make life difficult. The message that the train was being cancelled was delivered by a human being, as was the decision - if there actually was a decision - not to leave the barriers at Paddington open.

Some people can deliver bad news well; others do it in a way that seems uncaring. There would certainly have been occasions under BR, and indeed in other public service operations, when cancellations have been announced unsympathetically, and action that might have alleviated the problems wasn't taken.

But had everyone who arrived at Paddington on that train been delayed? Should the barriers have been left open because the passengers from Marlow and Bourne End had had a tough time?

If the 14.17 from Bourne End was cancelled, and they then knew that the 15.17 would be too, then passengers could have been directed to the 15.05 bus from opposite the station entrance, due into Maidenhead at about the same time as the 15.17 train.
But then again that would involve one bus company trying to work with another bus company.

There are many instances of different companies co-operating. It is improbable that the railway staff on duty at Marlow said "It isn't First that operate these buses, therefore we won't advise passengers that they might reach their destinations quicker if they used one." Again, they are people, probably feeling under pressure at the time, and probably wishing they didn't have to make announcements that they know the passengers may get angry about.
 

Senex

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I'd be pretty annoyed too if I'd been delayed that long. But "coldly", "surly" and "arthritic" are emotive and exaggerating terms which don't enhance sympathy for the problems you experienced.

I take it that those terms express the attitudes that came over to the customer/passenger. Maybe some of the TOC's staff need some more training in how to deal with passengers at times of perturbation.

First and GWR aren't evil entities seeking to make life difficult.

TOCs often do manage to come across to passengers as just that. In this case, the way in which passengers who had been delayed for two hours were treated does seem -- from what we have been told -- pretty bad.
 

Flamingo

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I take it that those terms express the attitudes that came over to the customer/passenger. Maybe some of the TOC's staff need some more training in how to deal with passengers at times of perturbation.

First and GWR aren't evil entities seeking to make life difficult.

TOCs often do manage to come across to passengers as just that. In this case, the way in which passengers who had been delayed for two hours were treated does seem -- from what we have been told -- pretty bad.

How the hell is having routine ticket barriers in place in a major London terminus treating train passengers badly?

Apart from anything else, they are also there to prevent passengers without tickets reaching the platform, or passengers with tickets reaching the platform before the train is prepared for its next journey.
 

Via Bank

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Why would it ? The ticket would be valid at this time

I wouldn't be so sure. Various other threads on these forums involving the Paddington gateline have suggested that a ticket being valid is no guarantee you will not have it rejected at the gates, or have a human deny you travel.
 

MarlowDonkey

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It is improbable that the railway staff on duty at Marlow said "It isn't First that operate these buses, therefore we won't advise passengers that they might reach their destinations quicker if they used one."

Marlow is unstaffed, but the train was deemed failed at Bourne End in the afternoon when I think it is also unstaffed. There's a conductor-guard, so it would have been the on train team telling passengers to leave the train. They may well not have had local knowledge that there's a bus service outside running both to High Wycombe (for Marylebone) and Maidenhead. There's a Help point , but I doubt they would have a clue either.

On the more general point, what are the responsibilities of the TOC or train staff if it is necessary to remove everyone from a train at an unmanned station?
 

3141

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I take it that those terms express the attitudes that came over to the customer/passenger. Maybe some of the TOC's staff need some more training in how to deal with passengers at times of perturbation.

It's quite possible that more training would help some staff do better dealing with passengers when things are going wrong. But I do feel in this case that the OP was laying it on with a trowel, like "crawl through arthritic ticket barriers one at a time", since you'd still go through one at a time even if they were open.

First and GWR aren't evil entities seeking to make life difficult.

TOCs often do manage to come across to passengers as just that. In this case, the way in which passengers who had been delayed for two hours were treated does seem -- from what we have been told -- pretty bad.

Yes, those who'd been delayed for two hours had definitely had a bad experience, but I find it hard to agree that it's "bad" that the barriers weren't opened when passengers got off at Paddington.
 

pF

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How the hell is having routine ticket barriers in place in a major London terminus treating train passengers badly?

Apart from anything else, they are also there to prevent passengers without tickets reaching the platform, or passengers with tickets reaching the platform before the train is prepared for its next journey.

Because the platform was severely overwhelmed with the large number of inconvenienced passengers' travelling on the few running GWR trains. It was a stampede at the barriers.
 

Senex

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Yes, those who'd been delayed for two hours had definitely had a bad experience, but I find it hard to agree that it's "bad" that the barriers weren't opened when passengers got off at Paddington.
I didn't say anything about the barriers. I wrote of the way those passengers were treated. Presumably there can't have been that many coming off the branch two hours late. Would it be asking too much to have identified them on the main-line train and given them express treatment through the barriers at Paddington (and claim-forms)?

As to the bus option, fair enough that the branch train staff didn't know anything about it, but presumably the TOC has a customer care set-up. Why was that not involved as soon as it was clear at central level what was happening and why could that not have chased up things like bus or taxi (if there were only a few passengers) options?
 

Flamingo

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Because the platform was severely overwhelmed with the large number of inconvenienced passengers' travelling on the few running GWR trains. It was a stampede at the barriers.


Ok, you weren't having a good day (either were we), and the queue for the barriers was the straw that broke the camels back. I can accept that. It wasn't something that was done on purpose just to annoy delayed passengers. I don't have any interaction with or responsibility for barriers in Paddington, I'm a simple Train Guard, but sorry you felt messed about.
 
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JN114

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I didn't say anything about the barriers. I wrote of the way those passengers were treated. Presumably there can't have been that many coming off the branch two hours late. Would it be asking too much to have identified them on the main-line train and given them express treatment through the barriers at Paddington (and claim-forms)?

As to the bus option, fair enough that the branch train staff didn't know anything about it, but presumably the TOC has a customer care set-up. Why was that not involved as soon as it was clear at central level what was happening and why could that not have chased up things like bus or taxi (if there were only a few passengers) options?

Ultimately not every one of the passengers would have been travelling to Paddington, the majority from my experiences on the line would only be travelling as far as Maidenhead. A large number of customers were disrupted that day, why should the gate line staff make an exception for a handful off the Marlow branch?

As for identifying disrupted passengers, how do you propose that's done on a DOO train from Maidenhead to Paddington that would, at that time of day easily be carrying 400+ passengers by the time it got to Paddington?

On replacement transport - GWR's replacement transport (including non-rail ticket acceptance) is handled by a separate company called First Rail Support. The relevant Route Info controller will put a request in to them to source X buses to do Y, and is then free to get on with assisting the Train service controller with incident management and service recovery. At school-run time, such as this incident, it is not uncommon for ETAs for buses to be upward of 2 hours. Why? Because private bus operators vehicles are normally maxed out in school contracts. Likewise bus ticket acceptance is usually refused at these times due to passenger loadings. National Rail Enquiries (who take the help point calls) will keep control informed of numbers calling in to say they're stranded at such and such and if road transport isn't already en-route taxis will be dispatched to pick them up if there isn't another train due within a certain timeframe, which is defined in the relevant route contingency plan.
 

pF

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"arthritic" are emotive and exaggerating terms which don't enhance sympathy for the problems you experienced.

I applied the term "arthritic" to Cubic's glacially slow barriers. Pay attention.
 
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